- Natalie Byers
Industry United Against Human Trafficking
January has been designated as Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month, by the White House in efforts to raise awareness and share information on how everyone can help in stopping the practice of human trafficking.
The trucking industry has made this a top priority in efforts to slow down and stop traffickers. Thanks to organizations like Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), thousands of professional drivers are trained to be frontline defenders in the fight against human trafficking. Truckers are in a unique position to assist in the efforts to eliminate human trafficking.
Truck drivers are on the same roads, parking at the same rest areas and fueling up at the same truck stops that human traffickers often use to sell or even traffick their victims. Due to the nature of the job, truck drivers are also often more observant. Being aware of their surroundings while driving is a key aspect of the training drivers go through, and it often becomes instinct for many drivers. This awareness can directly correlate to spotting suspicious situations and potentially even stopping trafficking.
TAT was formed in 2009 after recognizing the unique position truck drivers are in and the value of involving the industry in their fight to stop human trafficking. TAT actively began recruiting trucking companies across the nation, training their drivers on what to watch for and, more importantly, proper reporting procedures. TAT offers extensive training and many highly effective and valuable tools to assist truck drivers identifying and helping victims. Since TAT’s formation, more than 1.4 million truck drivers have been trained and registered as TAT trained.
Drivers have also been calling National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH), at 1(888) 373-7888, to report what they were seeing. The Polaris Project, manages the hotline, has reported that calls from truck drivers rose significantly after 2009. The NHTH statistics show that in the last five years, over 41 percent of cases reported by truck drivers have involved victims who are minors. The dedication by truck drivers in the fight against human trafficking is making a powerful impact.
In one case, a driver who observed suspicious activity made one call that resulted in the recovery of seven minors. Through this report, 31 offenders were arrested and a 13-state child sex trafficking ring was broken. This is a true testament that the partnership with the trucking industry is working.
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a valuable organization doing very important work and the trucking industry is proud to be a strong and reliable partner in this critically important effort as well. Every driver should take the training and learn how to identify the signs of human trafficking and understand the reporting process for suspicious activity.
For motor carriers, if your drivers have not been through this training we at Front Range Compliance Services strongly urge you to consider. You and your drivers could play a key role in saving many men, women and children.
For more information, go to the Truckers Against Trafficking website.
You can reach the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1(888) 373-7888.
Make sure to check out our online DOT Training platform, DOT University! We currently are offering Reasonable Suspicion for Supervisors, Cargo Securement, Defensive Driving, and Pre/Post Trip Inspection. In the coming months, we plan on releasing Designated Employer Representative and Appendix A.
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